Many people view dogs as more than just pets. To some of us, they are a member of the family and it’s difficult, if not impossible, to imagine them harming anyone.
Unfortunately, some pet owners fail to dedicate the proper amount of training, care, and attention to make sure that their dogs do not act aggressively toward others. Some owners let their dogs roam in public without a leash or fail to contain them in their yard. There are even some owners who fail to keep up with their dog’s vaccinations.
When a dog is neglected, mistreated, or improperly cared for, dangerous interactions between the pet and humans can occur. While both adults and children are susceptible to severe and possibly fatal dog attacks, children account for the largest number of dog bite-related emergency room visits each year.
If you or someone you love was bitten by a dog in Memphis, the dedicated dog bite lawyers at Reaves Law Firm, PLLC are ready to help you hold the owner accountable. We are here to be your voice. Our attorneys will help you demand the compensation you are owed, and we’ll fight to force the dog’s owner to take steps to prevent the animal from ever attacking anyone else.
Contact us at (901) 352-0333 to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team today.
Because dog bite laws can vary from state to state, it is crucial to hire an attorney who understands the specific dog bite laws in Tennessee. To pursue the full and fair amount of compensation you are owed, you will want an attorney who also has extensive experience handling these types of cases.
When you hire a Memphis dog bite attorney from Reaves Law Firm, PLLC to represent you, your lawyer will start by:
Conducting a thorough investigation into the attack
Collecting vital evidence
Speaking with eyewitnesses
Consulting with medical and financial experts
Determining the full value of your injury claim
Your lawyer will collect proof of the medical bills and other expenses you have incurred, as well as future expenses you may incur. Your pain and suffering, as well as emotional distress, should also be considered.
Dog bite claims are usually covered by the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance policy. Your lawyer will negotiate with the dog owner’s insurer with the goal of obtaining a fair settlement on your behalf. A successful settlement is one that takes into account the factors mentioned above and provides you with enough financial support to assist with your recovery.
If the insurer refuses to offer you a settlement that makes you whole, your lawyer may file a lawsuit to seek the full compensation you need in court.
Tennessee Dog Bite Laws
In Tennessee, you could be eligible to seek compensation if someone else’s dog bites you. Tennessee Code 44-8-413 establishes that dog owners must keep their pets under “reasonable control” at all times, and if they fail to do so and the dog harms someone, they could be held liable for any injuries their pet causes.
There are a number of cases in which a dog owner is not liable, however:
The dog is police or military, acting in official duties.
The injured person was trespassing on the owner’s private property.
The owner was being attacked and the dog was defending him or her.
The dog was taunted or provoked into attacking.
Tennessee also notably has a “residential exception.” This means that dog owners cannot be held liable should the attack occur on the dog owner’s private property, whether residential or commercial.
The fact that Tennessee offers a few protections from liability on the part of dog owners means that having an experienced dog bite attorney on your side is critical in being able to pursue a successful claim. At Reaves Law Firm, PLLC, we can be your voice against dog owners who fail to take the proper precautions.
If a dog bit you or your loved one in the Memphis area, please contact us so we can help you understand your legal options.
Dog Bite Injuries
Although the vast majority of dog bite injuries are non-fatal, they can still cause significant and lasting harm. Some common types of dog bite injuries include:
Damage to nerves, tendons, and tissues
With each of these injuries, especially the physical ones, comes a risk of the full extent of the injury not being apparent immediately after the attack. Long-term risks of dog bite injuries include:
Loss of mobility
Scarring, including severe scarring that can lead to disfigurement
Post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety
Our team has the knowledge and experience to handle any dog bite case, no matter the complexity. We will document the full extent of your injuries in order to demand full compensation for your recovery.
How We Prove Dog Bite Cases
To prove that the dog owner was at fault in a dog bite case, we will need to show that the dog owner was acting negligently. That is, failing to take the proper precautions that a reasonable person would to ensure that the dog does not attack when not provoked. To prove negligence, you will need to establish:
The owner owed you a legal duty to restrain the dog.
The dog’s owner failed in that duty.
The dog attacked you.
You suffered harm as a direct result of the dog attack.
Proving that the owner failed to responsibly restrain the dog may require demonstrating that:
The dog was allowed to run free without a leash in a public space.
The dog’s owner failed to keep the dog restrained in their yard, and the dog broke free.
The dog was on a leash, but the owner was unable to control it.
These are only a few examples of how a dog’s owner might be considered negligent. It is crucial for you to discuss the specific circumstances of your case with your attorney as soon as possible so they can begin collecting evidence to prove your injury claim.
Our Memphis Dog Bite Attorneys Are Ready to Help You Now
We understand the trauma and loss of trust that can come with being bitten by a dog. Victims may require extensive medical treatment, including treatment for infections or scarring and disfigurement. The emotional toll of an attack can last much longer, beyond the time it takes for the physical wounds to heal. This can be particularly difficult to deal with, especially when young children are involved.
If you’re struggling to pay your medical bills or are trying to cope with the emotional trauma after a dog attack, turn to a legal team that you can trust. It is recommended that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. In Tennessee, most personal injury cases, including dog bites, carry a one-year statute of limitations. If action is not taken within that period, the court will be barred from hearing your case.
The Memphis dog bite attorneys at Reaves Law Firm, PLLC want to hear your story. We are ready to sit down with you and discuss how this encounter has impacted your life. We want to be your voice, and we’re here to see that justice is served.
Our respected lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, which means that you won’t owe us anything unless we get compensation for you. Our consultations are 100 percent free and confidential. Call us at (901) 352-0333 to speak with a compassionate and knowledgeable member of our team today.